Google's Leaked EU Proposal Goes Over Like Lead Balloon
Today in international tech news: Annoyance swells in Europe over Google's latest round of antitrust concessions. Also: North Korea seems to have pirated Angry Birds for its new tablet; China is still hacking away at the U.S.; Microsoft talks with Spanish soccer giant Real Madrid about stadium naming rights; and Lenovo's revenue jumps along with mobile sales.
Google's rivals are none too impressed with the company's most recent round of proposals designed to appease antitrust concerns and end what is now a 3-year-old case with the European Commission.
Google's previous stab at concessions was roundly rejected in April because the changes did next to nothing to rectify Google's abuse of its dominant market position, according to rival companies. Google enjoys a 90-plus percent share of the European search market.
Google's recent proposals were meant to be private, but The Guardian, for one, obtained copies and has queried rivals. The rivals are apparently still rolling their eyes.
British search company Foundem was quick to complain, saying Google's new proposals "remain fundamentally unchanged and suffer from all the same fatal flaws that rendered its previous proposals considerably more harmful than helpful."
So no, it's not even close.
Under the new proposals, Google would continue its much-despised practice of prominently displaying links to its own sites, which annoys rivals something fierce. On mobile devices, Google would suggest a link to "other sites," displayed next to Google's sponsored links.
Alas, these suggestions are apparently nonstarters for rivals.
The 125 organizations currently mulling Google's proposals have until Nov. 28 to respond, although The Guardian makes it sound like the official verdict -- no -- is a formality.
[Source: The Guardian]
North Korea May Have Pirated Angry Birds
North Korea's recently released tablet comes equipped with 14 games, including Angry Birds, but the developers of the blockbuster app say they weren't affiliated with the inclusion of the game.
Jumping to conclusions, one lands on the idea that North Korea pirated Angry Birds.
There is speculation that the North Korean tablet, called "Samjiyon," was actually manufactured in China, not North Korea. If that's the case, then it meshes with the notion that Angry Birds was pirated, given that China has in the past been a hotbed for Angry Birds piracy.
[Source: The Washington Post]
China Still Hacking Away
Remember those bombshell revelations about Chinese cyberespionage? The ones that were supposed to usher in a new era of bilateral cooperation between the U.S. and China?
Yeah, nothing's changed.
On Wednesday, cybersecurity firm Mandiant -- which blew the top off the story of People's Liberation Army Unit 61398 back in February -- and a congressional advisory panel reported Wednesday that Chinese cyberintrusions were still rampant.
The U.S.-China Economic and Security Commission issued a report to Congress saying that Mandiant's revelations did little to fundamentally alter the cyberespionage landscape. The report quotes Mandiant experts, who said that hacking decreased for about one month before picking back up again.
The final version of the report will be released later this month.
Microsoft in Talks With Real Madrid About Stadium Name
Microsoft has engaged in preliminary talks with Spanish soccer club Real Madrid about purchasing naming rights for the team's famed Estadio Santiago Bernabéu.
The 85,454-seat stadium, which Madrid has called home since 1947, is one of the most revered venues in international soccer.
Lenovo's Profits Spike
Lenovo Group said Thursday that its latest quarterly profit rose 36 percent, buoyed by stronger smartphone and tablet sales.
The company, which made its name in the ever-dwindling world of personal computers, earned US$220 million during the three months that ended on Sept. 30.
Lenovo said that smartphone, tablet and mobile device sales rose 106 percent from the previous year, with mobile's share of revenue jumping from 9 percent to 15 percent from the previous quarter.
[Source: The Associated Press]